September 2011


If there is one thing I love, it is any type of seafood. If there is one thing I don’t love, it is cooking for one. Just me. Alone. By myself. But that is where I find myself right now. Not for long, but long enough.

What’s the easiest thing to cook just for one that is quick – PASTA!! And since I’m not getting home until later I really have to rummage to find something to cook with pasta. I was excited to find a single Salmon fillet in the freezer which meant I could make this….

    Farfalle with Fresh Salmon.

Since I only had one 4 oz salmon fillet I made about 1/3 of the recipe. And it was super simple. Saute garlic with red pepper flakes. Add chopped fresh tomatoes (which I did not have so used some frozen whole blanched I had put up early this summer) Add sliced salmon and fresh basil. throw in some cream and toss with the pasta. Super Simple and Super Tasty.

And if you want to know what pasta for one looks like –

A litle pile of pasta. Dang but I’ll be glad when The Hubs is home again.

Check out what Kayte made for 30 Minute Thursdays. Why don’t you join us? The recipe is from Hazans 30 Minute Pastas on page 118. If you like super simple you will LOVE this book.

Cocoa Shortbread Cookies with a Twist.

The twist is that they are actually SALT and PEPPER Cocoa Shortbread Cookies.

These are super simple to put together. And they are slice and bake. In a matter of minutes the dough came together. After 4 hours or so in the fridge they are ready to slice and bake. Super Simple!!

While they make good chocolate cookies I really couldn’t taste the pepper much (and I put in what was called for). I made 1/2 the recipe which gave me 11 cookies. And we liked the chocolate cookie partso I will probably make them again ’cause they are so simple to make.

Thanks to Tia of Buttercream Barbie. These were actually last week’s pick but I am running a week behind again. The recipe is on her blog and on page 128 of Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours.

First of all, I know this is NOT what is on the schedule for today for French Friday’s with Dorie. Second, I don’t own a Madeleine pan — yet!! So making the honey-spiced mads was out for me. The last time I made them in a really CHEAP pan they looked like little piles of pooh. Did NOT want that to happen again!! Better to skip altogether!!

So let’s step back 2 weeks….

    …to what was ‘assigned’.

To what I have been meaning to make for the last 2.5 weeks.

Just a simple rice dish, or is it…? Is it risotto?

It doesn’t have to be stirred for hours without stopping yet it is creamy.

You don’t have to watch it continuously, yet it doesn’t burn!!

Boil broth, add arborio, simmer on low heat until ALMOST done {NO STIRRING}, off of heat and let finish cooking.

    Yep, THAT easy!!
      THAT easy!!

Add in sauteed onions and garlic, wilted spinach, cream, and cheese…

…and you end up with such a creamy delicious dish one helping is not enough!!

I have to admit I didn’t follow the recipe EXACTLY (YEAH YEAH!!). Dorie sugested Gruyère, Emmenthal or Swiss cheese. None of which I had. So I used White sharp Cheddar. It was like a yummy mac/cheese made with rice! And I am not trying to insult risotto. Delicious!! But I will make it next time with the ‘right’ cheese. Maybe!!

Find this recipe on page 380 of Dorie’s around my french table.

And check out the other FFwD cooks and their madeleines for this weeek. And past weeks’ dishes as well.

    Linguine with Classic Basil Pesto

I have to admit I have had pasta with pesto before. I often make it as a simple meal for lunch. But I have used ‘store-bought’ pesto and not home made. I have even made Basil Pesto before but I included the cheese in the pesto it self. But when Hazan made the pesto he didn’t put the cheese in the pesto, he put it the pasta. It made a BIG different. Actually, you put the pesto in the bowl the pasta will be mixed in THEN you grate the cheese over the pesto and THEN you add the pasta. What I ended up with was a lovely pasta dish where the cheese melted in the pata making it melty and ‘creamy’.

If you have Hazan’s 30 Minute PASTA you can find the recipe on page 54.

And check out Kayte’s 30 Minute Thursday entry.

And if you have the book, or you are getting the book, please join us.

What’s the old saying,

    A Day Late and A Dollar Short?

How about a week late and a brownie short? While everyone else was enjoying Dorie’s Classic Brownie last week, we were enjoying……NADA. I thought last week was the **** Cake and since we aren’t big fans of ****s in baked goods I didn’t even bake it.
But THIS week???
Brownies!!!
And they are chocolatey, delicious fudgey treats.

They may be small in stature but they are big in taste. Chocked full of chocolate – bittersweet {actually I used semisweet} and unsweetened – and walnuts they are sweet and crunchy. Dorie also suggests espresso, but I still don’t have any, so…..

THESE were good!!!
Thanks to Anne of Anne Strawberry for this delicious brownie!! You can find the recipe on Anne’s delicious Blog! Not only that – she made FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES!! Oh.My!! So scoot over and visit with Anne for a bit!!
You can also find the Classic Brownies in Dorie’s Baking From My Home To Yours. (page 88)

And visit the other

I know what you are thinking! Why is there a picture of a SPIDER on the blog? I was wonderfing that myself. Oh, wait. That’s not a spider, it’s Malagieri’s Deep-Dish Peach Pie. What looks like a large arachnid crawling out of a dish is actually the pieces of the Puff Pastry Lattice Crust on top of some delicious sweet, nutmeggy sliced peaches. Malgieri said only to perss the lattice to the edge of the baking pan. I did. And this is what happened. The pieces rose up and … well you can see!! But it did not affect the taste one whit!!

Malgieri explained how to make the lattice work and then transfer it onto the pie. As hard as I tried I finally had just fix the lattice crust on the pie itself. But since I made two mini pies it was quite simple to do it ‘the old fashioned’ way. I cut the strips with a scalloped knife and only 1/4 inch rather than the 1/2 inch suggested because the pies were small.

Sprinkled with a little sugar they were sweet, but not too sweet and perfect one serving.

And the Ice Cream on top? That is…..


Chez Panisse Vanilla Ice Cream
(via Nancy who adapted it from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere)
Makes: 1 quart

1 vanilla bean
1 cup half and half ( I actually used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk since I was out of half and half)
2 cups whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks (I used about 105 grams of yolk)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar, rubbing the mixture between your fingers until the sugar is fragrant.

2. Add the vanilla, sugar, vanilla pod, half and half, or milk and all the cream to a sauce pan. Warm the mixture, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

3. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl until just mixed. Gradually pour the hot mixture into the egg yolks in a steady stream, whisking constantly.

4. Pour all back into the sauce pan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens slightly into a custard and coats the back of the spoon.

5. Strain the custard into a storage container, add back the pod to the custard, and chill in the fridge until cold.

6. Add the vanilla extract, remove the vanilla pod, and freeze in an ice cream maker.

If you like a rich vanilla laden IC this is the one. And perfect to top my Peach Pie Spider!!!!

Other members of the Modern Baker Challenge have already made the pie. And there are process pictures on The Puff Pastry Page. And take a look at Phyl’s.

Now that the month is almost 1/2 over I am finally changing my Twitter Avatar. This week’s food celebrity was Nigella Lawson chosen by our friend Marthe of The Baking Bluefinger. Actually I changed my Avatar the first of the month, but it wasn’t very pretty and the dish really wasn’t that good. Now I have the right dish and the better picture.

    Hassleback Potatoes

I had made these before but I didn’t like the way they came out. Nigella’s were perfect. Just basted in a little EVOO and butter.

    •18 medium oval-shaped potatoes, about 125g each, or 36 new potatoes, approx. 60g each
    •45g butter
    •5 tablespoons olive oil
    • Maldon salt {I used regular salt}

Serves: 6.

1.If you’re using the larger potatoes, preheat the oven to 400°F/210°C/gas mark 7; for roasting new potatoes, preheat to 395°F/200°C/gas mark 6. Put each potato, in turn, in the bowl of a wooden spoon, like you would carry an egg in an egg-and-spoon race, and cut across at about 3mm intervals.{This is a GREAT tip. You won’t cut them all the way thru’ and you don’t have to worry about it!!}
2. When you’ve cut them all, put the baking tin on the hob (don’t you love that word: stove} with the butter and oil and heat up till sizzling. Turn the potatoes well, putting them in upside down (ie, cut side down) first, then the right side up, and spoon the fat over them.
3.Sprinkle each potato well with salt and put in the oven: cook the large potatoes for about an hour and 10 minutes, testing to see whether the flesh is soft (you may need another 10 minutes for this); 40 minutes should be fine for the new potatoes.
4.Transfer to a warmed plate, and serve. {I sprinkled a little dried parsley over the top.}

Althought just a little variation on a good ol’ baked potato they look so elegant and are fun to make.

If you want or need one of the simplist pasta recipes ever then this is the one for you. It is simply pasta tossed with parsley, pepper flakes, garlic, and EVOO. Yes, it IS that simple.

    Spaghettini with Olive Oil and Garlic

It is the perfect side dish for just about anything. The flavors are mild so it won’t overpower whatever you serve it with. We had it with baked chicken rolled in Italian seasoning and panko bread crumbs. Just 1/4 of the entire recipe was more than enough for the side and a little extra.

The only change I would make – add just a tad more garlic. The two medium cloves (1/2 clove for 1/4 recipe) simply was not enough. Everything else was just fine.

You can find this one on page 49 of Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pastas

Enjoy!!

And go check out Kayte’s selection for 30 Minute Thursdays. It looks delicious.

While I LOVE Indian food The Hubs is not a fan. So on the nights I cook ‘weird’ food I make him something he really likes that I am not a fan of.

Like this:

    Red Beans and Rice

The last time I made this I was newly married and no chldren. That was 38 years ago. Therefore I have no go to to recipe. The search was on. I found several recipes. I went first to Deep Dish South where I found Mary’s Shortcut recipe using canned beans. I also picked up a few other ideas there. Then I went over to the All Recipes Site and picked up a few more tips. And on to My Recipes where I found a recipe using the slow cooker. I had enough tips and ideas to make the beans I wanted. Here goes. My recipe to suit The Hub’s taste.

    1/2 Tbl oil
    3 cans kidney beans, undrained {Many recipe used dried, and you could, but you need to soak them for hours before hand}
    5 slices bacon cut into medium pieces
    8 oz (or so) Andouille Sausage, sliced. {Halve each slice if you like}
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    Chicken broth, enough to cover beans in slow cooker + a little.
    1 tsp celery salt {You could also use 1/4 cup chopped celery}
    Fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet or pot, over medium high heat, add the Andoullie sausage and cook until browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the bacon and cook until soft, but not browned. Add the onion, and celery salt or celery if using. Cook until soft. Add the garlic. You do not need to add ANY SALT because canned beans contain plenty of salt.

Place all the cooked ingredients into the Slow Cooker along with the undrained beans and enough chicken broth to cover the beans with about 1″ over the top of the beans.

Cover and cook on Low about 6 hours or High for about 4. Or until the beans reach the consistancy YOU like.

Serve over rice.

Hubs said they were good. That’s all I needed to know I can make them again. Just like this.

Let’s see. It’s the middle of the month. It’s Monday. That means it is time for The Secret Recipe Club. And if you haven’t heard of it you need to. Each month members are ‘assigned’ a blog to cook from You can cook one or two or as many dishes as you like. You can use them as is or adapt them. You just have to use recipes from the blog.

This month I was lucky to be ‘given’ The Slow Roasted Italian authored by Donna.
So many good things. So little time.
Since I was in the mood for Italian I searched her blog until I came upon the perfect dish. Quick! Easy! Delicious!

    Chicken Cacciatore

Oh! My! Goodness!

I haven’t made this dish in YEARS and the last time I did it was made with cans of tomato soup **Gasp** but it was all I had and it was good. Now I have this and I am very glad I have since lost the other recipe. **WHEW**

    2 teaspoons flour {I used 2 Tbl}
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
    1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
    4 4 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ {I used full breasts but sliced them into thinner pieces.}
    1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion
    1 cup red bell pepper strips, about 3″ long and 1/4-1/2″ wide
    2 cloves fresh minced garlic
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1 can (14.5 ounce) no salt added diced tomatoes in juice {I used Fire Roasted}
    1 tablespoon drained capers {I like these more and more!!}
    1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate and use a fork to mix until they are well combined.

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Dip one piece at a time into the flour mixture and coat all sides being sure to shake off any excess flour. Transfer them, side by side, to a clean dinner plate (don’t stack them on top of each other).

Place a large nonstick skillet with a lid over medium high heat. When hot, add the olive oil. Immediately add the chicken in a single layer and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Remove the chicken to a clean plate. Ad the onion, bell pepper, garlic and wine to the pan. Stir for 3 to 5 minutes, until the wine slightly reduces. Add the tomatoes and their juice. capers, Italian seasoning and stir to combine.

Place the chicken in the sauce, completely coating them. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste. Remove the chicken to your serving dish and allow the sauce to cook and thicken. Remove from pan and pour over chicken when it has thickened to your taste and serve.

Thank you, Donna, for this recipe.

It was wonderful. Very flavorful. Very light. Very definitely going into my “Make This Again” file.

I mean rally – look at all thay yummy goodness!!! How could you NOT make it again, and again. and…..

Donna has some great process pics on the Cacciatore post .

If you want to join in the fun just travel on over to The Secret Recipe Club and sign up. You won’t regret it. Perfect way to meet new foodie bloggers!!

As I was signing in to Donna’s Site I found a new recipe on her blog. Death by Chocolate Cake. THAT one is definitely on my list for my next cake!!!!!!!



Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 141 other followers